Receivable/Accounts - Information for Credit and Collection Issues

Friday, January 7, 2022

The Crisis of Covid and Absenteeism

Here we go again...

So here we are, the first week of 2022, and Covid-Omicron is rampaging across the country, and people are getting sick.
  A lot of people.  I would guess this week that at least 20% of our team members are sick to some degree, whether it’s Covid or something else.  That’s crazy.

o, the last two weeks have been a bit hectic (as the understatement of the year).  Between Christmas holidays, Christmas vacations that were planned, and then adding in a lot of people being off unexpectedly, and all the while pushing everyone back out to working from home as much as possible, the start of 2022 has been less than easy.

That being said, we’ve been very lucky on a few fronts, that have made this week only slightly hellish, instead of full blown emergency.

What worked for us?  Things we set up long, long ago, in the normal world of pre-2020...

Flex Schedules to the Rescue!

Sometimes setting up a flexible schedule option for your staff isn’t just about the employee, some times it benefits the employer.  We’ve got a few folks working from home and not feeling anywhere near 100% -- so they’re logging in, doing what they can, logging out, and coming back on later in the day.  Our team members are doing their best, and covering what needs to be done, so why watch a clock?  Something to think about if you are holding your team members to a rigid schedule.

Banked Time

A lot of folks at our company have banked excess time in the past, and we also top up their banked time with 4.5 hours a month to give them paid time off, so people can take time to get better, not slog through the day at 20-60% of their normal selves.  That time they put in previously can be used now when they need it.  It all comes down to respecting boundaries of staff members, and remembering when they put in more than 37.5 hours in a week -- you have to pay it back at some point, like now.

Cross-Training To The Rescue!

Many, many years ago I wrote a blog article about being like Star Trek (the Next Generation, not TOS), about having a company where anyone can slide into another chair to cover tasks if needed.  Well, it’s working, as we’re down to a handful of staff in-office, and with a number of people off sick.  Other folks are making sure the mail is run, client requests are handled, couriers are going out … exactly what I hoped for when we started setting our company up many years ago.

What Can We Learn From This?

This isn’t a blog about ‘woe is me, 20% of our staff is off, life is hard’ … this is about us getting through the problem, and at the other end when the dust settles, look back and see if we could have done anything to make this month’s crisis any smoother.  Should we have cross-trained more?  Did we have too much work piled on a handful of team members and they couldn’t take the strain of so many people being off?  After it’s all over, is everyone okay, had a chance to decompress, and feel better?

ompanies need to be resilient – if things come toppling down because you remove 1 person, or 12 people, then it’s time to look at how your company is built, and make it stronger to weather uncertainty and crises like this.  I’m grateful for the folks who choose to work at our company, and I want them all to be safe, healthy and happy as much as I am able to help with that.  I also want our company to be safe, healthy and happy, and continue to ride the rollercoaster of 2021-2022 – with extreme highs and lows, that should all balance out.

Are you having a rollercoaster 2021-2022?  Want to swap war stories and share how we can all get through this together?  Drop me an email or give me a call.  A rising tide lifts all boats.

appy new year!

lair DeMarco-Wettlaufer
INGSTON Data & Credit